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Saturday, November 10, 2012

More on the Weather...

Sticking with the weather's a shot from a few weeks ago that's very common this time of year.  Half the sky is sunny and blue, while the other half is dark and foreboding.  In this case, I was preparing to take two medical evac patients to the hospital.  An elderly couple had both mistakenly eaten the wrong leaves while out working in their rice field, and they'd become critically ill.  As the thunder rumbled just a few miles away, some of the villagers gathered around the plane while the local pastor prayed for safety for the flight and healing for their loved ones.

It's a tight squeeze to fit two medevac patients into a 206, along with those that are accompanying them. 

I can't even begin to tell you how common a scene this is during rainy season.  One minute it's beautiful...the next it's all closing down.  

When you combine bad weather with rugged terrain, and very few options for alternates, you really have to be on top of your "game" to keep the margins of safety there, and not get caught in a bad situation.  Fortunately, MAF is extremely safety conscious and always promotes safe decision-making, without the added pressure that many commercial operators might feel.

And the side benefit of all the rain and showers are of course rainbows!  In fact, I often call this "rainbow season", because rarely a day goes by this time of year that I don't see at least one rainbow.  In fact, recently I've been seeing a handful of beautiful rainbows every day...sometimes I see double rainbows, like the one below.  And I've even seen a triple rainbow once.

And of course, all of this rain is great for the rice crops growing.  They were planted back in August and September, and will be ready for harvest sometime early next year.  I love looking down this time of year and seeing the brilliant, green rice paddies near the villages in the Krayan region.

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